In the cockpit and at the controls
- By Paula Shaki Trimble
- Sep 11, 2000
The Federal Aviation Administration's Capstone program will equip 150 aircraft
used in passenger, mail or freight operations with an avionics package designed
to improve pilots' situational awareness by putting weather, terrain and
traffic information in the cockpit for the first time. Essentially, pilots
will have access to the same information in the cockpit that air traffic
controllers have on the ground.
The FAA is installing the automated weather observation system at 10
village airports in the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta region of southwest Alaska.
The system will provide Global Positioning System information to allow pilots
to perform safer approaches.
The avionics package consists of:
* A GPS navigation receiver that provides positioning and timing information.
* A two-way digital data link system that operates in Universal Access
Transceiver mode to deliver weather, position and air traffic information.
* A multifunction color computer display with traffic and terrain advisories.
The avionics equipment provides:
* A GPS-based digital terrain database of Alaska on a quarter-mile grid
accurate to about 100 feet of elevation.
* An Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) that relays
aircraft position, altitude, vector and other information to the air traffic
* Flight Information Services that provide an aircraft with current
and forecasted weather and weather-related information as well as the status
of special-use airspace.
* Traffic Information System-Broadcast that provides aircraft position
reports from other aircraft that are ADS-B-equipped.
* Charts for visual flight rules and instrument flight rules.